The Zorb experience
The Zorb experience
If the idea of rolling down a hill inside a huge PVC ball sounds like fun, then the Zorb experience could be for you. We followed two daring 'zorbonauts' as they gave it a go.
It might not be everyone's idea of fun, but the Zorb experience, based near Bockhampton on the outskirts of Dorchester, is fast gaining a reputation with thrill seekers visiting from across the country, and beyond.
Imagine a huge inflatable PVC ball bouncing down a hill, with you inside, and that, essentially, is the Zorb experience.
Paul Knight, Dorset's Zorb guru
Created in New Zealand and brought to Dorset in 2000, local Zorb guru Paul Knight is the man in charge, and an expert on the experience.
He says: "There are two types of Zorb. One involves the person inside strapped to a harness; the other, known as a 'hyrdo zorb' involves sloshing about in warm water.
Harness and hydro
"The harness Zorb is probably slightly more extreme as you go a bit faster because you build up momentum, but the hyrdo Zorbs are probably a bit more fun, like a water slide mixed with a rollercoaster.
"But both can reach speeds of around 20 - 30 mph."
Sophy Edwards & Philip Egan 'zorbonauts'
Trying both examples of Zorb-based fun were Sophy Edwards, from London, and Philip Egan, from Birmingham.
You can see how they got on in the videos on this page, but judging by the smiles on their faces at the end, they found the experience to be a whole load of fun - which is a fairly common reaction, says Paul.
People love it
"People love it," he says, "we get people coming back for another go, and they bring their friends along.
"We get people from all over the country, from Europe and America, coming to try it because it's so unique.
There's an element of 'extreme sports' to it, but it gets people out in the Dorset countryside, and it's just a lot of fun. It's great."
The Zorb can reach speeds of up to 30mph
But can I buy one?
A lot of you have been asking BBC Dorset if it's possible to buy a Zorb for yourself. The simple answer is no.
According to the official manufacturer's website they do not sell Zorbs as they are expensive to construct and not considered viable for personal use. Zorb Ltd say:
"We need to be sure that all Zorbs are used in the safest possible manner and that people do not harm themselves. It would be like buying a bungy rope - what do you do with it? Where's the bridge to jump off - how do you get yourself back to the top when you're dangling on the end.
"Similarly with Zorbing - you need a safe location and all the equipment to support activities. We therefore only supply Zorbs to licensed operators."
last updated: 06/04/2009 at 11:58
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Have you had a go at Zorbing? What did you think?
Robbie Craig Wallace High
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